Return Rate

Rate of Return documented the history of the São Pedro community, a simple village characteristic of the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, which had their lives radically changed with the arrival of the mining company ZNN. History that repeats itself since the arrival of Europeans colonizers to the country. The documentary is a sensorial experience that, with moving images, sounds and testimonies, presents the impact of mining activity in the region.

  • Matheus Vieira
  • Raoni Garcia
  • Matheus Vieira
  • Matheus Doninha
  • Gabriel Sousa
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Taxa de Retorno
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    17 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    July 16, 2021
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - UFSCar
Director Biography - Matheus Vieira

Matheus José Vieira, 35, is a researcher, director, screenwriter and photographer. Member of the Brazilian Association of Cinematography (ABC). Mastering in the Graduate Program in Image and Sound (PPGIS) at Ufscar, he studied Audiovisual Production at Centro Universitário Barão de Mauá. He directed the series Jazzpora (2021), Emicida and Rael Convidam Mano Brown (2019), NaEstrada com Rael (2018) and also the short films O Pico (2022), Youth, Democracy and Political Participation (2022) and Taxa de Retorno (2021)

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Director Statement

As the director of "Rate of Return," I am privileged to bring to the forefront an issue that lies at the intersection of environmental justice and social equity. Collaboratively created with Matheus Doninha, Nicollas de Oliveira, and Gabriel Sousa, and supported by the Aldir Blanc Law of Viçosa, our documentary is a testament to the enduring spirit of the São Pedro community.

In "Rate of Return," we unfold the stark realities of the São Pedro community in rural Minas Gerais, as they face the repercussions of magnetite mining which began in 2019. Under the banner of progress and development, what was promised as prosperity, turned into an ecological devastation and socio-economic inequality, leaving the community grappling with the aftermath and gaining little in return. This narrative is not unique to São Pedro; it echoes the longstanding pattern of exploitation and inequity tracing back to the colonial era of Brazil.

Through our film, we endeavored to transcend the traditional documentary narrative. We fused social critique with artistic aesthetics to expose the harsh truths hidden behind the veil of developmental discourse. We wanted to highlight the deep-seated connections of these communities to their lands, their right to exist in harmony with their environment, and the human costs often overlooked in the name of industrial progress.

Our documentary has been recognized at numerous film festivals. "Rate of Return" was awarded 'Best Regional Film' at the Festival de Muriaé, '2nd Best Film' at Cinem.Ema, and received an Honorable Mention at SWIFF. It was selected for the official line-ups at the Festival Curta o Gênero, Indus Film Festival, Festival Internacional de Cine de San Luis Potosi, [EM]Curtas International Exhibition, Viçosa Film Festival, and participated in the Tiradentes Film Exhibition.

However, our ultimate measure of success is not the accolades we receive but the awareness we raise, the conversations we trigger, and the advocacy we inspire. Our hope is that the São Pedro community's story will resonate far and wide, highlighting the pressing need for more equitable, respectful, and sustainable models of development. As we look forward to future engagements and film festivals, we are committed to continuing to use our platform to tell the stories that matter and stimulate the dialogues that can lead to change.